When the foundations are forgotten

My friend Don and I were leading a mens’ conference together a couple of weeks ago. Prior to the conference beginning, God had laid a word on my heart about returning to foundations. The Lord had also laid a word on Don’s heart based on the idea of a bulldozer clearing ground. You would have expected that the bulldozer was preparing the land for a totally new building, but on further inspection the machine was actually clearing the dirt off old foundations it was uncovering.

The message was clear: build on the foundations that have been laid.

Elaine and I have been visiting the church whose foundations were laid by myself and a team of university students many years ago. As we sat reminiscing over lunch with the senior leader and his wife, we talked about how those foundations have remained firm. The church has flourished. As a consequence, we are still completely at home there, and in fact feel we are coming home whenever we visit.

Our daughter Anna, her husband Chris and their children live in a flat owned by a church in south London. The foundation stone (pictured above) was laid a century and a half ago by Charles Spurgeon. By the grace of God, the spiritual foundations laid by England’s greatest preacher have remained solid to this day.

Scripture tells us that no foundation can be laid other than Christ.

If there is a crack in your foundations, be sure of this: sooner or later it will show up, and the results will not be pretty. That applies to churches and to individuals.

It’s often a very good thing to revisit the foundations God has laid in your life. Are you still building on them? I’m not talking about being static and unwilling to change, I’m talking about taking what God has done in your life and doing something with it.

Sadly there are churches and movements, born in faithfulness to God, which have moved away from their foundations. There are lots of reasons why. Most centre around our desire to be more popular with the culture in which we live than to be true to the Word of God. We water down our doctrine, our preaching, our worship, our church discipline and our leadership standards.

And so all too often we have diluted doctrine, pathetic preaching, superficial worship, zero discipleship and lacklustre leadership.

Of course that is not the whole story. Yet I am concerned.

What are we to do?

The prophets talked about things like measuring sticks and plumblines. The measuring stick is the Bible.

Let me give you a piece of information. The Bible is not out of date. It is not culturally irrelevant. It is still the standard by which God measures what we are building, whether in our personal lives or in our churches.

Blow the dust off your Bible and your prayer life, and let the Holy Spirit blow the dust off you.

The Ephesians got the same warning: return to your first love. If they didn’t, the church that had transformed the whole province of Asia would surely die. And eventually, it did.

Don’t let the same thing happen to you.